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Muscular Nationalism At The Dawn Of The New Century: Social Darwinism As An Ideology Of Hegemonic Masculinity

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Chapter Summary

The questions this chapter aims to answer are as follows: Through what relationships was this ideal of manhood, with its visions of masculinity, formulated and practiced in traditional Korea-that is, before the onslaught of Western and Japanese capitalist modernity in the late nineteenth century? How did the new ideal of manhood get articulated, what sort of social reality was decisively important for formulating and articulating it, and in which way were imported conceptual and linguistic codes, especially the Social Darwinist ones, instrumental in this process of articulation? What were the differences between the ideal as described and prescribed in a variety of literary or journalistic texts and the practice of masculinity in daily life? The chapter attempts to answer these questions primarily on the basis of contemporary texts, in many cases generated by the proponents of the new ideal of manhood themselves, but also make use of observations by non-Koreans.

Keywords: Japanese capitalist modernity; Korea; muscular nationalism; Social Darwinist



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